Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Help Me Howard: Bail Me Out
You may have gotten the call from a friend...Hey buddy i made a mistake...I am in jail..and i need you to bail me out. If its a good friend your heart may go out to them. But be aware... If your wallet goes... You may be in deep deep trouble like one south florida man..here is help me howard with patrick fraser.
WSVN--At some point in your life you may have gotten one of those calls.
"Hey man I really need your help. Can you please bail me out of jail? I promise, I promise I will pay you back right away."
Kirk got the call from a friend at three o'clock in the morning.
Kirk Lee: "Well, what are we looking at here, to get him out? She said $3,000 -- I said $3,000 that's alot of money."
The money was for Paul Robert Williams, who was sitting in the Broward County jail.
According to this police report, Williams was charged with aggravated battery after choking his wife and hitting her in the head with a Heiniken beer bottle.
Kirk Lee: "I go to there house every now and then, they have a party, I go over there. So they were friends of mine."
Both Paul and his wife -- who he was accused of attacking -- told Kirk they would repay the three thousand dollars as soon as he could get to a bank.
Kirk Lee: "She said 'don't worry about it. I have money, I have money in Jamaica that I have been saving. Both of us. And you'll get it back as soon as he comes out'."
Paul was being held on $30,000 bond. A bail bondsman charges 10 percent of that to guarantee the bond and Kirk had the 3,000.
Kirk Lee: "It just so happens that I am saving to buy a home this year so I have a little stash that I am working on."
Kirk was hesitant...But he remembered a few years ago williams and his wife helped him get a job...
Kirk Lee: "I have always been the kind of person if you bend over and help me, I will do anything to help you."
So Kirk bailed his old buddy out, signing the papers and handing over the 3,000 dollars.
Kirk Lee: "I went ahead, stupidly, nieve as I am, because I have never done this before."
That was in January. You don't have to be a psychic to guess what happened next. Williams skipped a court hearing, then skipped the country.
Kirk Lee: "I have been told by more than three people that he is in Jamaica."
Kirk then called Williams' wife who had also promised to repay the three thousand dollars..
Kirk Lee: "You asked me for help, so now you need to help me out of this."
You can guess what her response was.
Kirk Lee: "Well right now I am so behind in my bills and things are going bad. I don't need to hear your problem, lady, this is my problem."
The bad news kept piling up. Kirk then found out if Williams didn't retur, Kirk would also be responsible for the entire 30,000 dollars bond.
Kirk Lee: "I dont deserve this. I just want to get out of this mess."
So how does he get out of this mess, Howard?
Howard Finkelstein: "The only way to get the 3,000 dollars back is for Williams or his wife to repay him. The bigger issue is the $30,000 if Williams does not return -- a judge can issue what's called a bond estreature. If Williams is not in custody 60 days after that is issued, Kirk is on the hook for the 30,000 dollar bond."
When I asked Williams' wife if she would return Kirk's 3,000 dollars she said "I am not taking that responsibility." She also told me she has not spoken to her husband.
I even called Williams mother in Georgia who told me "I don't know where he is and I cannot afford to repay that."
Howard says legally Williams only has one option and running and hiding is not it.
Howard Finkelstein: "First of all, Williams needs to come back to Broward and turn himself in because not only is there a warrant out for his arrest but the U.S. has an extradition treaty with Jamaica in case they find him. And one more thing, to avoid what happened to Kirk -- if you want to bail someone out you better be sure they aren't going to run because it can ruin you financially."
Kirk's dream of buying a home is temporarily dead. He is hoping Williams will do the smart thing -- because Kirk says he certainly didn't do a smart thing.
Kirk Lee: "I have done something real stupid and I will never do it again. And you can never trust anyone."
Patrick Fraser: "Truth be told if Williams turns himself in there is a good chance the courts will go easier on him than if they have to pay to arrest him, extradite him and fly him back to Broward. In addition, he might as well come in because the arrest warrant will soon be sent to Jamiaca to insure Williams is picked up. He needs to come back, get it over with and get on with his life. And, oh yeah, pay back Kirk for bailing you out of jail."
Locked into an arresting situation? Need someone to bail you out? Contact us. We don't put up cash but our legal ideas are free.
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